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Vintage Parker 51S: Ink Dos And Don'ts ....



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Forgive me if this has been covered before and steer me to the threads if so. I now have a few vintage Parker 51s, both Aerometrics and Vac Fillers ...

 

Are there any modern inks that can be recommended as favorable to use in these vintage stars? Are there any that should be avoided? I like to err on the side of caution for instance, and use only MB inks (which I find superior to a great many for lots of reasons) in my Meisterstuck for instance. I would not expect to have problems using most Noodler's inks in my Ahabs and Konrads, for instance.

 

But what about vintage Parkers? I have recently used some Sheaffer Black Scrip in a Parker 51 Special with good results and no issues.

 

Ideas?

 

Thanks ....

 

"Tis true, men are destined for short, brutal lives ... and women - long, miserable ones." :yikes:

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I use pretty much anything in my 51s, and just accept the fact that maintenance requirements will be a bit higher. Others on the board recommend against using Noodler's inks with valuable pens, but I've had no problems.

 

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Japanese inks are generally considered safe for vintage pens. This would open up not only Iroshizuku and Sailor (which have a good amount of color variety as it is), but also the vast Kobe ink line, which is made by Sailor. Also Parker, Sheaffer, Waterman, and Diamine.

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You'll find a lot of opinions. My 2c: with certain everyday user 51s I use Noodler's. With some everyday carry Vacumatics, I use Pilot Iroshizuku inks. But to be on the safe side, with the more valuable vintage pens I tend to use Waterman Serenity Blue, Aurora Black and Herbin Eclat de Saphir. Sheaffer inks would also be safe, I imagine.

 

In any case, make sure you rinse the pen thoroughly before switching between a Japanese and a European/Western ink, because these two classes of ink generally tend to have pH at opposite ends of the spectrum, and they don't play well together.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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Noodler's Polar Black seems to be a "thick" ink that still work in my pens. And there are a couple of Noodler's inks that are reported to stain the pen. I ahve no personal experience.

 

In all my pens, including five Parker 51's, I use, without hesitation, Noodler's Blue, Quink blue/black,

Levengers black, Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue, and Montblanc torquoise. Quink and Pelikan have especially good flow.

Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn.
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen:
Verweile doch, du bist so schön !

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The conventional wisdom by those in the business of restoring vintage pens is to use an ink made by a pen manufacturer.

 

The belief is that a pen maker would only produce inks known to be safe for pens because they do not want their own pens to be ruined by their own ink, which would result in many pens coming back to the factory to be repaired or replaced. That could cost them money if these are under warranty or at least damage their reputation as a pen maker. That's one of the reasons that a pen company tries to encourage you to use their ink (that and added profit).

 

So Parker Quink, Sheaffer Skrip, Waterman's, Pilot, Lamy, MB, Aurora etc. should be perfectly fine. Also iron gall inks should be fine in any vintage pen with a gold nib. I'm using Pilot Blue/Black in a Parker 51 Vac right now so I concur with swanjun that Japanese inks should work fine in your 51.

 

Some on the forum and in the pen repair world caution against using Noodler's or Private Reserve in a vintage pen, but if you choose to, remember to flush it frequently (perhaps every fill even if it's the same ink).

Edited by Florida Blue

Parker: Sonnet Flighter, Rialto Red Metallic Laque, IM Chiseled Gunmetal, Latitude Stainless, 45 Black, Duovac Blue Pearl Striped, 51 Standard Black, Vac Jr. Black, 51 Aero Black, 51 Vac Blue Cedar, Duofold Jr. Lapis, 51 Aero Demi Black, 51 Aero Demi Teal, 51 Aero Navy Gray, Duofold Pastel Moire Violet, Vac Major Golden Brown, Vac Deb. Emerald, 51 Vac Dove Gray, Vac Major Azure, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, 51 Vac Black GF Cap, 51 Forest Green GF cap, Vac Jr. Silver Pearl, Duovac Senior Green & Gold, Duovac Deb. Black, Challenger Black, 51 Aero Midnight, Vac. Emerald Jr., Challenger Gray Pearl, 51 Vac Black, Duofold Int. Black, Duofold Jr. Red.

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georges zaslavsky

Japanese inks are generally considered safe for vintage pens. This would open up not only Iroshizuku and Sailor (which have a good amount of color variety as it is), but also the vast Kobe ink line, which is made by Sailor. Also Parker, Sheaffer, Waterman, and Diamine.

Add to the list MB, Pelikan 4001, Caran d'Ache, Pilot and Private Reserve

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

 

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I have found that the Parker 51 is one of the least troublesome pens with any ink I have tried, including a few Noodler's inks. I used Montblanc blue-black for years in my first 51. Running out of it now, will probably use Sheaffer's blue-black when the MB runs out.

 

I have bought and used a number of poorly maintained Parker 51s, and I have found that they all cleaned up easily and could be put to writing with moderate flushing. Interesting colors resulted as my blue-black mixed with the gossamer oranges, yellows, pinks and purples left in the pens by la-la people.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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  • 10 months later...

I know many pen afficionados love Noodler's ink, but I really wouldn't dare try them in any of my good everyday pens.........

It's a matter of personal opinion, but I do hope that my pen collection could last half a century instead of a few years time.

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vintage pens I tend to use Waterman Serenity Blue, Aurora Black and Herbin Eclat de Saphir.

 

 

 

Those are literally the exact same 3 inks I use for vintage pens.

 

I know I could branch out but I also happen to like those colors. I like to keep one inked Waterman Florida Blue and Aurora Black for work and I always love Eclat de Saphir, which I find still business enough to use for work but still a little pretty enough to be a little eye-catching.

Looking for a cap for a Sheaffer Touchdown Sentinel Deluxe Fat version

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ParkersAndPaper

Except for a few vintage Parker colors, I use Noodler's almost exclusively in all my pens. I've never had a problem.

Owner of many fine Parker fountain pens... and one Lamy.

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Except for a few vintage Parker colors, I use Noodler's almost exclusively in all my pens. I've never had a problem.

 

Good in my experience also. When you get your plum 51, I recommend Noodler's Nightshade or the Private Reserve plum color to celebrate.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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I wouldn't mind using most of my choices of Noodler's inks in a aerometric P51 since can be a little easier to clean if anything gets too stubborn (my preferences tend to lean towards waterproof inks). But while I've had Liberty's Elysium in my Parker 51 Vac, I decided not to do so long term since not only does it take more time to flush a vacumatic, the collector could be more easily dried up with bulletproof inks.

 

Parker Quink Blue flowed very well in it, but the color was sort of a bore to me.

 

Others that I'd probably use (mainly because they seem easier to clean, flows well, and doesn't easily dry out the feed):

- Waterman Intense Black (never tried blue, but supposedly behaves the same)

- Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo, Fuyu-syogun, Syo-ro, Tsutsuji, and *maybe* Kon-peki (seems heavier on the saturation)

- Aurora Black for sure, seems real easy to clean

- Some of the J.Herbin 1670 ink line (like Ocean Bleu)

 

 

I know many pen afficionados love Noodler's ink, but I really wouldn't dare try them in any of my good everyday pens.........

It's a matter of personal opinion, but I do hope that my pen collection could last half a century instead of a few years time.

Mainly a matter of how easy they are to clean or how likely they dry and which exact ink is being used. For example I've used Noodler's Black Eel just fine in a Snorkel Admiral, and I currently use Black Eel in my Montblanc 225 with a extra-fine nib. Straight non-lubricated Noodler's Black could be a different story.

 

Noodler's Polar Black seems to be a "thick" ink that still work in my pens. And there are a couple of Noodler's inks that are reported to stain the pen. I ahve no personal experience.

 

In all my pens, including five Parker 51's, I use, without hesitation, Noodler's Blue, Quink blue/black,

Levengers black, Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue, and Montblanc torquoise. Quink and Pelikan have especially good flow.

Polar black is like a step up from Black Eel, not only is it bulletproof like Noodler's Black, but also lubricated like Black Eel. All the Polar line is bulletproof, lubricated, and freeze-resistant. But Polar Black vs Black Eel is a bit more on the "brown" side. (only Black Eel is the bulletproof/waterproof one in the Eel line, so the other Eels should be in my opinion pretty easy to clean from a Parker 51).

Edited by KBeezie
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waterman florida blue works very well for me, same with Quink blue and Quink black.

Noodlers #41 brown as flow issue though and did clog my 51...

Edited by frenchguy86
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All the usual suspects . . .

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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I have PR DC SuperShow blue in my 51 Special (aerometric feed). Only 2 fills so far. Prior to that it was Cross/Pelikan.

 

In a vac, I would use something easier to clean than PR; maybe Waterman, Parker, Sheaffer, Pilot, etc. I found the vac an incredibly difficult pen to clean, once it has ink sticking to the walls of the reservoir, without disassembly (which I will NOT do), so I would only put easy to clean inks in it. Maybe I just do not know the trick to easily cleaning a vac.

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I have PR DC SuperShow blue in my 51 Special (aerometric feed). Only 2 fills so far. Prior to that it was Cross/Pelikan.

 

In a vac, I would use something easier to clean than PR; maybe Waterman, Parker, Sheaffer, Pilot, etc. I found the vac an incredibly difficult pen to clean, once it has ink sticking to the walls of the reservoir, without disassembly (which I will NOT do), so I would only put easy to clean inks in it. Maybe I just do not know the trick to easily cleaning a vac.

 

Salad spinner.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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I have PR DC SuperShow blue in my 51 Special (aerometric feed). Only 2 fills so far.

DCSSB is probably 90% of my ink used.

 

It's my test ink, especially for Esties and 51's. I know well how it writes with those nibs when they are as they should be.

 

Bruce in Ocala, Fl

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If you are a cautious type by nature, I agree with those who recommend Diamine inks (my P51 is inked with Diamine Midnight right now) and Iroshizuku. (No aspersion on some other brands intended, I use PR and Noodlers in most pens.) But these two brands have a lot of colors to choose from, and performance is generally good across the board. Most Diamines (with exception of maybe Majestic Blue) clean up very easily, too, as do Iroshizukus.

Not all those who wander are lost. J.R.R.Tolkien

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